Sunday, August 12, 2012

Find your greatness

Nike has a new advertising campaign "find your greatness". The Olympics is the perfect place to highlight this message, but it hasn't only been about star athletes. There is a commercial with an overweight boy running down the street. The announcer tells us that we are all capable of greatness. Greatness is not something to be attained by prodigies alone. I love it!

I've thought about this campaign a lot in recent days (and as my cousin in advertising would tell me, that's a successful campaign). Of course, the theology geek in me started thinking about greatness. Greatness in Catholic Christian terms means holiness. When you see the world through the lens of Jesus Christ crucified and risen, greatness isn't necessarily about winning medal, although sometimes it is a way to glorify God.  There have been some stunning displays of faith during the London Games.

Finding my greatness means to grow in the virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, moderation, faith, hope, and love. Unlike the Nike promotion, though, there is a communal element to the quest for greatness and my first responsibilities lie with my husband and son. I am supposed to help them to grow in holiness.  The purpose of marriage is for mutual holiness.  It is my responsibility to get my husband to Heaven, and, God help him, it's his job to get me there.  As a mom, I am my son's first teacher of the faith.  I am also to help him find the greatness that the Nike commercial talks about; I am to help him define the gifts with which God has blessed him.

Christ has promised each of us greatness and the Communion of Saints stands by as the thundering crowd praying us along as we "fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).  Go out and find your greatness!

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